Because fashion is a design field it’s often asked to be useful, not only must it serve the purpose of clothing you it must also serve a greater social/political purpose. I find that this is asked of fashion more than other fine art fields because it is a design field and not purely fine art. I don’t know how to feel about it. Sometime I reject the idea that just because its fashion it has to serve some larger purpose, but it’s also exciting to think about the positive change fashion can effect in the world. Is it a duty or an opportunity?
The “Hacking Couture” Idea is fundamentally ridiculous to me. You cant recreate couture clothing by putting the patterns online. Thats the whole point! It’s constructed and designed by huge teams of people who have been training their whole lives to make crazy fantastic unrealistic garments. Making the pattern for a Chanel suit or YSL bag open to the public isn’t hacking couture because that isn’t couture its ready to wear products of high end designers and thats super awesome and I’m a fan but It’s hard to read about someone critiquing something that they don’t understand the nature of. Or “making a handbag out of gloves” thats been DONE by Margiela who is exactaly the kind of designer they’re critiquing!
I wonder about the effectiveness of Las Agencias’s padded protest wear during actual protest. Is it possible for a garment like this to actually protect people from violence? Or is it symbolic? maybe making the need for protection visible is the garments most direct affect? I find Ralph Borland’s and the Yes Mens clown like attire to be more interesting. It’s a purely symbolic garment but it projects it’s message with humor and an awareness of itself as wearable art and the way wearable art functions best, as a spectacle.
I’m really excited by the more simple integrations of technology into wearables, like the Spin skirt. Something that the wearer can decide to activate themselves, that has a dialogue with the nature of clothing and the way it moves. I find some of the wearable devices that respond to your surrounding rather than your personal actions hard to imagine wearing. For me, the act of wearing clothing is all about agency and control of ones image, so independently moving and acting clothing is disquieting in a way.